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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandfather's Bad Timing Mars a Perfect Wedding

DEAR ABBY: What do you think of a person who makes fun of others about various "shortcomings" (e.g., being computer illiterate) while she knows little about these subjects herself? I am weary of listening to her whining voice belittling others. She's always talking about how "stupid" this person is, and how "dumb" that person is.

The individual I'm describing is my mother. Growing up, I didn't know differently. But as an adult and a mother myself, I cringe when she says these things. My 10-year-old daughter has asked me why Grandma makes fun of people. Is my mother a bully? -- NAILS ON A BLACKBOARD

DEAR NAILS: Yes, she is. She's also someone who is trying to make herself appear superior to those she disparages. Use her poor example to teach your daughter what an unattractive personality trait it is -- although from your letter, she appears to have already concluded that herself. You have a wise and discerning child who obviously does not take after her grandmother. And I'm sure that's because of your good influence. I salute you.